Besides Beach Storage, the family owned a tool rental business, the latter including everything from card tables to moving vans, lawn mowers to tents. In addition they owned a local landmark, the Gem of the Ocean, which sounds exotic while in actuality it’s a beer and pizza place, the local watering hole in the neighboring Monarch Beach. Locals like to tell you they’re going to the Gem because it sounds like gym, giving you the impression they are going to work out when actually the only lifting they intend to do involves slices of pizza and beer mugs.
The older son, Paul, my immediate supervisor, the one I called if I needed something, managed the tool rental business. He could be found Tuesday through Saturday behind the counter or lazing in the sun just outside. You know him or at least one like him.
He’s the guy that hits forty and suddenly sprouts a ponytail and gold chains. The top two buttons on his shirts never close. Half the time a sporty new car takes up residence in his driveway, always the life of the party.
I’ve heard Paul is known to party pretty hard south of us, keeping his escapades away from town.
As long as my paychecks were on time and didn’t bounce, I could care less.
I preferred the patriarch of the clan, Shamus. He was a dead ringer for Santa Claus in both attitude and appearance. Short and stout, crowned with a billowing mop of snow white hair and a sparkling white beard he was everyone’s idea of the perfect Grandpa.